Tag Archives: mesothelioma surgery

Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery

When surgery is indicated for mesothelioma, doctors typically turn to one of two procedures: extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Of the two, extrapleural pneumonectomy is the most extensive and risky, involving removal of a lung, the lining of the lung, and parts of the diaphragm. Though somewhat controversial, this mesothelioma surgery is well-defined in most centers. In contrast, a new study finds that surgeons vary widely in their definition of pleurectomy/decortication. To get a better understanding of what mesothelioma surgeons mean when referring to P/D, members of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the International Mesothelioma Interest Group conducted a web-based survey of 62 surgeons from 39 medical centers who had performed at least one mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery »

Surgery Remains “Cornerstone” of Mesothelioma Treatment

A major new study of more than 14,000 mesothelioma patients diagnosed between 1973 and 2009 finds that surgery appears to have a greater impact on survival than any other form of mesothelioma treatment. Researchers with Mount Sinai Medical Center, North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, and Hofstra School of Medicine in New York analyzed data from SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results), a large national database of cancer patients. Only patients with confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma were included in the study. The researchers divided 14,228 mesothelioma cases by age, sex race, diagnosis year, stage, cancer-directed surgery, radiation and other factors to determine which ones appear to have the most influence on mesothelioma survival. When compared to having no treatment, cancer-directed … Continue reading Surgery Remains “Cornerstone” of Mesothelioma Treatment »

Surgical Experience Improves Outcomes in Peritoneal Mesothelioma

When it comes to surgical intervention for peritoneal mesothelioma, the most experienced centers tend to have the best outcomes. The latest study to support this idea comes from researchers in the Peritoneal Malignancy Institute in Basingstoke, UK. The authors of the new study on peritoneal malignancies including mesothelioma published their research in the British medical journal Colorectal Disease. They performed a retrospective analysis on a database of 1,200 patients treated for peritoneal cancers since 1994. Most of these patients had a diagnosis of cancer of the appendix, but just over 5 percent had peritoneal mesothelioma. The goal of the study was to determine trends in cancer survival after cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). For peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgery involves … Continue reading Surgical Experience Improves Outcomes in Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is the more radical of the two surgeries and involves the removal of a lung along with the diseased pleural lining where mesothelioma tumors start, all or part of the diaphragm, the lining around the heart, and other at-risk tissues. While the complication rate is higher with EPP, some studies have suggested that the surgery may improve the odds of surviving mesothelioma. Pleurectomy/decortication involves the removal of the pleura and many of the same tissues, but leaves the lungs intact. Studies suggest that patients tend to recover from this type of surgery faster. Both types of procedures may be preceded or followed by chemotherapy or radiation to shrink mesothelioma tumors for easier removal or to kill residual cancer cells. Doctors … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths »

Mesothelioma Surgeon Says Proper Staging Key to Radical Surgery Survival

One of the country’s top mesothelioma surgeons has just published a study he says confirms the role of lymph node involvement in survival after radical mesothelioma surgery. Dr. David Sugarbaker, Director of the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, is one of the most experienced practioners of a radical surgical approach to malignant pleural mesothelioma called extrapleural pneumonectomy. EPP aims to prevent the spread or return of mesothelioma by not only removing the tumor and the pleural lining on which it is located, but also the nearest lung, all or part of the diaphragm, the lining around the heart, and other at-risk tissues. The procedure is controversial because of its high rate of complications and death. Some … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgeon Says Proper Staging Key to Radical Surgery Survival »

Study Defends Use of Radical Surgery for Mesothelioma

A new study says the controversial extrapleural pneumonectomy procedure for mesothelioma can be performed with “acceptable morbidity and mortality”, as long as certain guidelines are followed. Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is a large and complex procedure that involves removing a mesothelioma patient’s lung, lung lining, diaphragm and other tissues in an effort stop the spread of mesothelioma. Although some studies have indicated a mesothelioma survival benefit with EPP, the procedure has come under fire because of its high rate of death and complications. But the new EPP study suggests that it can be performed safely. The study evaluated the cases of 251 mesothelioma patients from three high-volume hospitals – University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, Medical University Vienna in Austria, and Toronto … Continue reading Study Defends Use of Radical Surgery for Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery

A team of plastic surgeons in New York have had good luck dealing with one of the bothersome side effects of the mesothelioma drug, Alimta. Alimta (pemetrexed) is considered the gold standard chemotherapy drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is often combined with the platinum-based drug cisplatin as a primary mesothelioma treatment or to help shrink mesothelioma tumors before or after surgery. It is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. But, like other powerful chemotherapy drugs, Alimta causes certain side effects, one of which can be swelling of the eyelids. While not life-threatening, eyelid swelling or “edema” can impact quality of life for mesothelioma patients and others on Alimta. But a new article in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive … Continue reading Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery »

Mesothelioma Survival Impacted by Lack of Surgery

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A team of surgical oncologists say failure to treat peritoneal mesothelioma with surgery is costing too many patients their lives. Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin studied survival statistics for more than 1,500 patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of mesothelioma that occurs in the abdomen. They concluded that many more of them could survive longer if they were treated with surgery. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, the research team identified 1,591 patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma between 1973 and 2010. The median age of the studied patients was 74 years and most had metastatic disease, meaning that their mesothelioma had spread beyond the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. Of those 1,591 peritoneal … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Impacted by Lack of Surgery »

Radical Surgery Outcomes Better in Women

Women with epithelial mesothelioma who receive induction chemotherapy prior to surgery have the highest chance of benefitting from the radical surgical approach known as extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). That is the conclusion reached by a team of thoracic surgeons from nine Italian medical centers. The team collected outcome and survival data on 518 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients who underwent lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery between 2000 and 2010. Most of the patients in the study (84.4%) had the epithelial variety of mesothelioma, the most common subtype of pleural mesothelioma. A little over half of the study subjects had chemotherapy prior to their surgery. Known as induction or neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the goal of this treatment is to shrink mesothelioma tumors to improve … Continue reading Radical Surgery Outcomes Better in Women »

Study Finds Higher Risk with Mesothelioma EPP Surgery

Yet another team of researchers is weighing in on the ongoing debate over the different kinds of surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma and the news is not good for patients considering the most invasive approach. The newest study involved thoracic surgeons from Stanford University and UCLA, Cardiothoracic surgeons from the University of Chicago and the University of Washington, and Biostatisticians from Duke University. Together, the researchers analyzed the outcomes of 225 mesothelioma patients from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-General Thoracic Database who underwent either pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) or the more radical extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Pneumonectomy literally means removal of the lung. As the most invasive pleural mesothelioma surgical approach, EPP involves removing the entire pleural lining where mesothelioma starts, as well … Continue reading Study Finds Higher Risk with Mesothelioma EPP Surgery »